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[40]

There remains that part of the Pontic province which lies outside the Halys River, I mean the country round Mt. Olgassys, contiguous to Sinopis. Mt. Olgassys is extremely high and hard to travel. And temples that have been established everywhere on this mountain are held by the Paphlagonians. And round it lies fairly good territory, both Blaëne and Domanitis, through which latter flows the Amnias River. Here Mithridates Eupator utterly wiped out the forces of Nicomedes the Bithynian—not in person, however, since it happened that he was not even present, but through his generals. And while Nicomedes, fleeing with a few others, safely escaped to his home-land and from there sailed to Italy, Mithridates followed him and not only took Bithynia at the first assault but also took possession of Asia as far as Caria and Lycia. And here, too, a place was proclaimed a city, I mean Pompeiupolis1 and in this city is Mt. Sandaracurgium,2 not far away from Pimolisa, a royal fortress now in ruins, after which the country on either side of the river is called Pimolisene. Mt. Sandaracurgium is hollowed out in consequence of the mining done there, since the workmen have excavated great cavities beneath it. The mine used to be worked by publicans, who used as miners the slaves sold in the market because of their crimes; for, in addition to the painfulness of the work, they say that the air in the mines is both deadly and hard to endure on account of the grievous odor of the ore, so that the workmen are doomed to a quick death. What is more, the mine is often left idle because of the unprofitableness of it, since the workmen are not only more than two hundred in number, but are continually spent by disease and death.3 So much be said concerning Pontus.

1 "Pompey's city." On the history of this city, see J. G. C. Anderson in Anatolian Studies presented to Sir William Mitchell Ramsay, p. 6. Anderson's article is of great importance in the study of the time of the composition of Strabo's Geography.

2 Mt. "Realgar (red sulphuret of arsenic) mine."

3 Hence the continual necessity of purchasing other slaves to replace them.

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